It’s another GOLD! Max Whitlock retains his Olympic pommel horse title with a HUGE performance to ignite Team GB’s men’s gymnastics in Tokyo
Max Whitlock has successfully defended his Olympic gymnastics title by winning gold in the men’s individual pommel horse.
Whitlock, the lead gymnast for Team GB’s men, was up first and performed a stunning routine to kick off the men’s pommel horse final.
Having only qualified fifth, Team GB’s defending Olympic champion threw down the gauntlet to his challengers with a routine packed with difficulty and top execution.
Max Whitlock defended his Olympic pommel horse title by winning gold in the men’s final
Whitlock packed his routine full of complexity and was rewarded with a difficulty score of 7.0
Whitlock had deliberately come into this year’s competition with a determination to make his routine more difficult, and he was true to his word, posting a masterclass with a huge difficulty of seven.
His execution, while not completely flawless, saw him post a mammoth score of 15.583, laying down a huge marker to his opponents. Whitlock had not previously managed a score above 15 in qualifying.
Whitlock chose not to enter the floor competition, in which he was also Olympic champion at Rio in 2016, so he could focus on the pommel horse in Tokyo in the men’s individual event.
Whitlock had not posted a score over 15 in qualifying but blew everybody away in the final
Chinese Taipei’s Lee Chih Kai (left) took silver, and Japan’s Kazuma Kaya (right) won bronze
Chinese Taipei’s Lee Chih Kai, who scored the joint-highest in qualifying, made a strong bid to take Whitlock’s title with a spectacularly flared performance. However his difficulty was at 6.4 compared to Whitlock’s routine and scored 15.4 overall to take silver.
Japan’s Kazuma Kaya produced an impressive routine to take bronze with 14.9. Kohei Kamayama, another of the strongest competitors in the final, put his all into the event but could only record a 14.6.
Team Ireland’s Rhys McClenaghan, one of Whitlock’s biggest rivals and joint-top qualifier with Lee, buckled under the pressure as he fell early into his routine and ended any chance of a medal, finishing seventh.